The thriving city of Blumenau is situated in Santa Catarina, on the Itajaí River. German philosopher Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau founded the city in 1850. The German immigration in the Brazilian South unfolded in the latter decades of the 19th century when waves of European settlers sought lands and opportunities.
With roughly 293,000 inhabitants, it is one of the very few cities in the Brazilian South where you can experience German heritage. Blumenau has a number of events and attractions related to its German roots. The most popular is its version of Oktoberfest, the largest in the country.
Every year, the city hosts Oktoberfest Blumenau, the mother of all Oktoberfests in the country. Usually lasting for three weeks, locals and visitors alike are treated with boast parades, Brazilian and Bavarian bands, German food (such as Kassler, stuffed duck), and several beer brands, of course. Summerfest, held every January and February, is Oktoberfest’s summer version.
Sightseeing in this vivacious Brazilian city includes a number of architectural attractions with a European influence. Some buildings are historic, and others are built only recently (but they blend perfectly with the historic atmosphere). The Historic Rua XV de Novembro, located in downtown Blumenau, is clearly the embodiment of the city’s German architectural heritage. Paved with colorful bricks and lined with half-timbered houses, the street hosts Oktoberfest parades.
Blumenau’s first part circuit includes the Flower Clock, Teatro Carlos Gomes, Macuca (the city’s first steam engine), and Castelinho da Havan, a copy of Germany’s Michelstadt City Hall. In the second part of the circuit, you will see the following landmarks: the Biergarten at Praça Hercílio Luz (where locals have gathered since the colonial period), the Lutheran Church and the St. Paul Cathedral, and Museu da Família Colonial. You will also find here the Edith Gaertner Botanical Gardens, which also houses an intricate cat cemetery.
Vila Germânica is home to the lovely shopping center Empório Vila Germânica, in half-timbered style. It has a number of parks, the most interesting of which are Parque Ecológico Spitzkopf and Parque das Nascentes. The pointed head in the former’s German name is the Spitzkopf Peak at 1,000 meters. From here, you can see the Itajaí Valley and Blumenau. Parque das Nascentes is the last of the preserved Atlantic rainforest in Santa Catarina.
Blumenau is located in a rainy zone. The drier season (fall and winter) goes from April to August, with May as the driest month in the city. Usually, summer and spring are prone to rain, with rainfall peaking in January and February.